‘She was just full of fun’: MPD officers remember detective who died of rare type of cancer

MADISON, Wis. — Colleagues of a Madison Police Department detective who died of a rare form of cancer last week are remembering her as a woman who gave her all day after day.

The department announced last week that Detective Amanda Analla recently died of a rare form of cancer. She was 35.

“Amanda was pretty much the most genuine; she was just a sweetheart. She would kind of put her whole heart into policing,” MPD’s Sergeant Kimberly Alan said. “When she was on calls or interacting with the community, I mean it was… she would give her all on every call and every project she worked on.”

RELATED: Madison police detective dies after fight with rare cancer

Analla was often praised — and awarded — for her community engagement work on Madison’s southside. When she joined the department in 2008, she worked as a youth mentor; she was later promoted to detective in 2019.

Alan, who worked closely with Analla a few years ago, said she was always up for a challenge and ready to take on any obstacle.

“The best way I can describe her is that she was just full of fun. She was up for whatever you needed, and if you were asking her to do something that she had never done before, she’d be like ‘well, let’s just figure it out’ and she would make it happen,” Alan said. “That’s an amazing skill in policing.”

While the community knows her for her work speaking at neighborhood meetings and participating in community fundraisers, Alan said her greatest legacy is her two daughters and wife.

Friends, family, and co-workers planned to host a visitation for Analla Wednesday night and a celebration of life on Thursday. Both events are closed to the public.

Read more reflections on Detective Analla’s life from MPD officers below.

Lt. Tracie Jokala:

When Amanda was a young officer and I was a Detective South (2008-2012), I mentored her when she actively sought out feedback on investigations and reporting. The following years I did not get to work closely with Amanda given our different paths on the dept. In 2018, I was so humbled when she showed up randomly to a banquet lunch at which I received a leadership award. It was kind of an obscure event, and not well attended, and there was Amanda. I asked her why she was there and she told me that she wanted to be there because of how I helped her, and that she still used the notes I had given her years back. I was so moved by her thoughtfulness. Amanda was a genuinely kind and generous soul.

Sgt. Meg Hamilton:

Amanda and I worked together a number of years, but the one I hold closest to heart was 2017. She was a neighborhood officer on the South side, serving the Fisher/Baird neighborhood. I was a community policing team officer, also based out of South. Amanda was on the board of Badger Rock school, and she volunteered to sit in the dunk tank at Badger Rock’s end-of-school celebration. For anyone who hasn’t sat in a dunk tank: it’s a remarkably exhausting job. The water is usually frigid, because the dunk tank is filled via hose right before it’s used. Also, you fall down and have to climb back up on a tiny seat dozens of times. Amanda grew tired as the event went on, but her enthusiasm never waned.

I decided to buy a few dollars’ worth of balls, to try to sink her. I missed the first time…and the second..and the third. Amanda was hooting with delight as she perched on the dunk tank seat, suspended above the water. I bought three more balls, and missed again. Amanda was grinning from ear-to-ear, talking smack and making everyone in earshot laugh too. I finally managed to get a ball on target, and she fell into the dunk tank and came up laughing. That is how I remember Amanda: smiling in the sunshine, happiest in a crowd, her big heart matched by her big laugh. Godspeed, friend.

Det. Sgt. Scott Reitmeier:

I would say more than anything, I would want everyone to know what a ray of sunshine she was. Even when the job had beat us down on the south side, she always smiled. I never ran into her in my life when she wasn’t smiling or laughing. And her laugh was so infectious and full of joy. She loved her girls and a cold PBR. Simple, but awesome.